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Wooden shape puzzle:
Lots of possibilities here. Talking about shapes and colors, building fine motor and visual motor skills, or maybe going on a scavenger hunt to find the pieces to build attention, visual scanning/perceptual skills, and gross motor skills.
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Sensory bin tools:
You can always gather containers, spoons, and scoopers you have around the house. But, if you don't have any on hand, or what a cute set for your kiddo, I like this one. They are made of wood, varied in size, and provide lots of functions. Pop them into a plastic bin of dried beans, rice (though this is hardest to clean up), macaroni, corn kernels, or whatever, and watch the show!
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Squigz:
I love these! And use them all the time. Stick them to the bath tub, the bottom of a table, or the window/glass door. Squigz encourage the use of vertical surfaces, which builds core strength and shoulder stability.
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Wooden peg puzzle:
Great puzzle activity for 18 months old (ish) and up. I like this puzzle because there are multiple functions, and it encourages hand eye coordination, fine motor skills, and problem solving.
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Peg board set:
This activity encourages so many skills: fine motor, gross motor, problem solving, spatial. But the fact that it promotes construction vertically is my favorite part, because that helps your child build shoulder strength and postural stability for fine motor and gross motor development.
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Sensory balls:
If you are going to play with balls, might as well choose some that offer great sensory input. These are a good option for providing tactile and visual input while building hand eye coordination!
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4 way tunnel:
Tunnels are great toys, but this one just takes it to a whole new level! Tunnels encourage crawling, which is a great strengthener and brain builder at any age. And this one encourages social play, another important component of toddlerhood!
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One shape puzzles:
Recommended for 12 months and up. Great for mastering the pincer grasp, as well as problem solving, attention, and visual motor skills. When the puzzles get too easy, try wrapping them up in newspaper, wax paper, or some other material to add a little challenge.
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Coin box:
Great for fine motor skill development, hand-eye coordination, object permanence, and counting. Ideal for young toddlers.
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Austen's Recommended Amazon Products
For Toddlers
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Bean bags:
Bean bags are a super versatile toy. You can toss them to knock down towers, toss them into containers or hoola-hoops, play hopscotch, and more. Bean bags also have some weight to them, providing important proprioceptive input. I like these because they offer another component, shapes, and colors!
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Fastener board:
The first step to managing fasteners is actually off of the body! This is a great little busy board to help your older toddler figure out clothing fasteners. You can even hide little animals, coins, buttons, beads, whatever in the pockets for them to save or find!
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Latches board:
Helps develop multiple skills including fine motor development, attention, problem solving, and frustration tolerance.
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Rebounder/trampoline:
Vestibular input and heavy work is super important, especially during the toddler years when kids are still figuring out how to regulate themselves. This little trampoline is a great way to get energy out and give the system some calming deep pressure.